How many devices is too many for a single home Wi-Fi network?
Carla Smith of Weatherford, Texas, doesn’t know for sure. But she does know that when the pandemic forced her four teenagers to attend school online and their father to work from home via video conference all day – adding to existing demands from home automation, streaming, gaming, and other devices in the house – things hit a breaking point.
“Everything started crashing, and everyone was complaining to me every few hours about the internet connection – as if there was something I could do about it,” she says.
Wi-Fi congestion problems like Smith’s are increasingly common as connected devices proliferate and users continue to demand more from their equipment and services, whether it’s making video calls, streaming high-definition movies, or security cameras that record to the cloud 24/7.
Wi-Fi 6E is the latest version of the Mesh Wi-Fi standard. Existing technologies operate on two frequency bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz; Wi-Fi 6E adds access to a third, at 6 GHz. The higher the frequency, the faster the throughput, which means anyone installing Wi-Fi 6E products like the new Nest Wifi Pro will enjoy combined speeds of up to 5.4 Gbps – twice as fast as Wi-Fi 6.1
Additionally, the 6 GHz band is much less crowded than the other two.2 Old 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi systems operate across 11 overlapping channels in North America; 6E has wider channels, and more of them – 21 in total at various frequencies. That means neighbors can stop worrying about interference from one another’s Wi-Fi networks. And inside a typical house, Nest Wifi Pro can simultaneously support up to 100 connected devices per router or up to 300 connected devices on a three-router network.3
Wi-Fi 6E works exactly the same way as existing Wi-Fi products, but it solves many issues that have cropped up in recent years, such as slow speeds and inconsistent connections, due to overcrowded networks. Products that use it, like the Pixel 6 phone and later generations, are already on the market, and many more are on the way.
For users needing Wi-Fi coverage for large or challenging spaces – multiple floors, houses with long hallways or thick walls, or backyard units, for example – mesh wi-fi networks are still the answer. And Nest Wifi Pro, which ships with up to three routers that can cover 2,200 square feet each, will cover a wide area with fast, reliable connectivity based on the latest technology standard.4
Adding Wi-Fi 6E routers isn’t just a solution for today’s problems – it’s future-proofing your environment, as more and more devices become Wi-Fi 6E-enabled.
Meanwhile, old devices running on 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies will work fine with a Wi-Fi 6E mesh system, though they won’t be able to take advantage of the higher throughput rates. (For example, most smart home technology, like cameras and smart light bulbs, operates on the 2.4 GHz band.)
The upshot is that for anyone who has struggled with slow performance, dropped connections, or other wireless hiccups, Wi-Fi 6E devices like Nest Wifi Pro will provide a significant upgrade to the experience – along with some peace of mind.1
As Smith notes, “It’s nice when the internet just works.”
Up to 2x faster as compared to a Wi-Fi 6 router that supports 80 MHz channels. Wi-Fi 6E specifications are based on use of a Wi-Fi 6 or later generation client device that supports 160 MHz channels. Actual speeds depend on your internet service provider, network conditions, connected device, local regulations and environmental factors. Additional routers may be needed for full coverage.
A Wi-Fi 6E client device is needed to directly access the 6 GHz band, which is limited to indoor use only. Actual speeds depend on your internet service provider, network conditions, connected device, local regulations and environmental factors.
This is based on only using connected devices at a maximum data rate of 1Mbps. Requires sufficient broadband internet connection and connected devices must be located within Wi-Fi coverage area described at
g.co/nestwifi/coverage. Strength and speed of signal will also depend on your internet provider.
Router placement and home size, materials and layout can affect how Wi-Fi signal travels. Poor placement and larger homes or homes with thicker walls or long, narrow layouts may need extra Wifi points for full coverage. Strength and speed of signal will also depend on your internet provider. More than 5 routers in a network may result in degraded performance and is not recommended.